AT THAT TIME THE Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas equal in number to the motes of dust in a thousand worlds, who had welled forth out of the earth, in the presence of the Buddha, single-mindedly, with palms joined, gazed up at the Buddha and spoke to him, saying, "World Honored One, after the Buddha’s passing, in countries where there are division bodies of the Buddha, in places where he. has passed into stillness, we shall extensively speak this Sutra. Why? Because we also wish to obtain this true, pure, and great Dharma; to receive, uphold, read and recite, explain, write out, and make offerings to it."
At that time, in the presence of Manjushri and the others, limitless hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas who had long resided in the Saha world, as well as the Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas, Upasikas, gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, non-humans, and so forth, the World Honored One manifested great spiritual powers.
He put forth his vast and long tongue which reached upward to the Brahma worlds. From all of his hair pores, he emitted lights of limitless, countless colors, all of which pervasively illuminated the worlds of the ten directions. In the same way, all the Buddhas seated on lion thrones beneath jeweled trees also put forth their vast and long tongues and emitted limitless lights.
When Shakyamuni Buddha and the Buddhas beneath the jeweled trees had manifested their spiritual powers for a full hundred thousand years, they withdrew their tongues.
Then they coughed and snapped their fingers, and those two sounds pervaded the Buddha worlds of the ten directions.
The earth quaked in six ways and the living beings in those worlds the gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, non-humans, and so forth by means of the Buddha’s spiritual powers, all saw, in the Saha world, the limitless, boundless, hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of Buddhas seated on lion thrones beneath jeweled trees. They also saw Shakyamuni Buddha, together with the Thus Come One Many Jewels, seated on the lion throne within the jeweled stupa.
They further saw limitless, boundless, hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas, as well as the four assemblies, reverently circumambulating Shakyamuni Buddha. Having seen this, they greatly rejoiced, having gained what they had never had.
Just then the gods in space called out in a loud voice: "Passing from here through limitless, boundless, hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of asamkhyeyas of worlds, there is a country called Saha. Within it is a Buddha named Shakyamuni who now, for the sake of all the Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas, proclaims a Great Vehicle Sutra by the name of the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower, a Dharma for teaching Bodhisattvas, of whom the Buddha is protective and mindful. You should all rejoice deep within your hearts, bow, and make offerings to Shakyamuni Buddha."
Hearing this sound in space, all the living beings placed their palms together, faced the Saha world, and said, "Namo Shakyamuni Buddha! Namo Shakyamuni Buddha!"
And then from afar, they scattered all kinds of flowers, incense, beads, banners, canopies, ornaments for the body, and precious and rare objects on the Saha world. The objects they scattered came from the ten directions like clouds gathering, and turned into jeweled canopies, completely covering the Buddhas in that region.
Then the worlds of the ten directions interpenetrated without obstruction, as if they were one Buddhaland.
At that time the Buddha told Superior Conduct and all the great assembly of Bodhisattvas, "The spiritual power of all the Buddhas is limitless, boundless, and inconceivable like this. If, using these spiritual powers, I were to speak of the meritorious virtues of this Sutra for limitless, boundless, hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of asamkhyeyas of eons by way of entrustment, I could not finish.
"In general, all the Dharmas of the Thus Come One, all the sovereign spiritual powers of the Thus Come One, all the secret storehouses of the Thus Come One, all the extremely profound deeds of the Thus Come One are all proclaimed and revealed in this Sutra.
"Therefore, all of you, after the passing of the Thus Come One, should with a single mind receive, uphold, read, recite, and explain it, write it out, and cultivate it as spoken. Those who receive, uphold, read, recite, explain, write out, and cultivate it as spoken, in whatever land they may be, in a place where the Sutra is kept: whether in a garden, in a forest, or beneath a tree; in a Sangha dwelling; in the dwelling of the white-robed; in a palace or hall; or in the mountains, valleys, or wilderness in all of these places they should build a stupa and make offerings.
"For what reason? You should know that this place is a Way-place wherein all Buddhas gain anuttarasam yaksambodhi, wherein all Buddhas turn the Dharma-wheel, and wherein all Buddhas enter Nirvana."
At that time the World Honored One, wishing to restate this meaning, spoke verses, saying,
The Buddhas, ones who save the world,